Redesigning Destinies: Women Changing Their Worlds

 
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$563,638
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Redesigning Destinies: Women Changing Their Worlds

Redesigning Destinies: Women Changing Their Worlds

Opportunities

Opportunities
“Before I began working at SHARE, I knew only the four walls of my home ... At that time, I would never have dreamt that I would be standing in front of 150 people and talking into a microphone”. Majdunisa Sheikh,WARE Cooperative “I am not an educated woman, but now I have learned how to use a stapler, a punch machine, how to maintain the accounts. Today I can say with pride that I have accomplished something”. Hasina Sheikh, Ashiana Cooperative

The Project

The Project
MarketPlace provides employment to women who have no other economic options. The 14 cooperatives of MarketPlace are comprised of women who have little or no education, who are widows, who have young children and cannot go out to work, or who are hemmed in by cultural or religious restrictions. All cooperatives have small centers, and most women work at home between cooking, cleaning and looking after their children.

Impact

Impact
"Freedom comes with education, self-confidence and economic independence. Freedom also has its responsibilities but the more we know the better prepared we will be to make decisions and not be influenced by outside forces that do not have our benefit at heart.” Annmarie Lobo, Ghar Udyog Cooperative. “I love MarketPlace clothes as it is because of them that I came out of the 4 walls of my house to experience freedom.” Amravati, Udaan Mandal Cooperative

Programs for change

Programs for change
MarketPlace Social Change Programs have evolved to address the changing situation of women who are taking a stronger role in their families. In addition, the Global Dialog program is a forum for artisans to communicate directly with customers. This allows for creative expression and analysis of their thoughts, aspirations and challenges. For more details on this programs, go to https://www.marketplaceindia.org/mp29/cgi-bin/sgdynamo.exe?HTNAME=global.htm&UID=2005011415331167

Enjoying Change

Enjoying Change
One cooperative decided to celebrate their work and the MarketPlace clothes by having a fashion show. This is one of our most traditional and rural cooperatives. The above link also shows their entire show. The uniqueness of MarketPlace lies in the fact that women create their own programs: fun activities like this or ones that help them deal with their changing status, how they communicate with their husbands and children, and how best to deal with the stresses of modern day urban life.

Solidarity for Women

Solidarity for Women
Women celebrate International Women’s Day every year. A major part of MarketPlace is about celebrating the potential of the women. Charity plays no role in the MarketPlace model, and the testimony to that is seen in the faces of the women when they look you in the eye, in their smiles, and most importantly in the meticulous way they dress when they come for meetings – maybe in one of few nice saris they have, but it shows they value their dignity and self-respect.

Women influence change

Women influence change
As is the case with many development projects worldwide, having an impact and breaking the cycle of poverty means working with women who then influence the future of their children. Like women worldwide, the MarketPlace artisans are concerned about the education of their children and about the difficult challenges they face. Many of the social programs are geared to helping them deal with their children, as their own childhood in the villages was so different.

The Next Generation

The Next Generation
The educational system in India concentrates only on academics. Classes are large (60 students to one teacher) and the curriculum is extensive. The Arman Club was started to provide opportunities for children to extend their talents in art, drama and sports. In addition, the Disha group was started to help students in higher grades deal with the tension of exams and help parents assist their children with relaxation exercises, nutrition, and memorization techniques.

Full Circle – Involving Customers

Full Circle – Involving Customers
Connecting the customers to the artisans is also an important goal of MarketPlace. A Ten Thousand Villages customer shown here displays a textile partly embroidered by the MarketPlace artisans and added on by the customer – it was a gift to the customer from the artisans on International Friendship day. In exchange, customers sent notes, cards or photographs to the artisans. Ten Thousand Villages is a non-profit Fair Trade organization.
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Organization

Project Leader

Pushpika Freitas

President
Evanston, Illinois United States

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